Thursday, May 26, 2005

Book Tag

I've been tagged by Thomas Luongo pursuant to a project of The Eclectic Econoclast's. Okay, I'll play.

  1. Total number of books I own: You're kidding, right? I stopped counting when I had to start moving stacks of them to get to the refrigerator.
  2. The last book I bought: The Star Fraction by Ken Macleod. I'd read it and loved it, but hadn't owned it until now.
  3. The last book I read: The Third Revolution by Anthony F. Lewis (unless you count assorted children's books that I read daily with my 6- and 4-year-olds, or Laura Ingalls Wilder's On the Banks of Plum Creek, which I picked up to evaluate for use in homeschooling this summer and ended up devouring in an afternoon earlier this week). I'm re-reading Macleod now.
  4. Five Books that mean a lot to me: That's not even fair, man -- it's like Sophie's Choice (note the ease with which I smuggle in additional titles -- I am, after all, a professional). All right, all right, I'll try:
    1. Pallas, by L. Neil Smith. I could have picked any of his books, but this one has a special place with me simply because it's the first of his novels I read. I had written to Smith, asking for permission to reprint an essay, and the next day noticed Pallas on a drug store book rack. It clued me in to the fact that libertarian science fiction had survived the death of ...
    2. Robert Heinlein, author of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Once again, I could have put any number of Heinlein's novels here, but TMIAHM is definitely my favorite. I've read it once or twice a year for the last 20 years, just to keep myself asking the right questions.
    3. I don't think that the appeal of Vin Suprynowicz's first novel, The Black Arrow, is going to wear off. It's a keeper.
    4. Choosing one of Macleod's "Fall Revolution" novels isn't easy, but I'll go with The Sky Road, simply because its final paragraph (not a spoiler, I think) never fails to thrill: "Whatever the truth about the Deliverer, she will remain in my mind as she was shown on that statue, and all the other statues and murals, songs and stories: riding, at the head of her own swift cavalry, with a growing migration behind her and a decadent, vulnerable, defenceless and rich continent ahead; and, floating bravely above her head and above her army, the black flag on which nothing is written."
    5. Here we go. Crunch time. The final choice. Should I go with the obvious (Atlas Shrugged)? Or perhaps the obscure (Democracy Against Itself)? Or maybe the really far out (Holy Blood, Holy Grail)? I think I'll just (left) wing it: Any of the three volumes, but especially the second -- The Prophet Unarmed -- of Isaac Deutscher's biography of Trotsky. And no, I don't particularly care to explain why.

  5. Tag five people and have them do this on their blogs:

    1. Wally Conger -- [Wally Conger's response]
    2. Wendy McElroy -- [Wendy McElroy's response]
    3. Sunni Maravillosa -- [Sunni declined]
    4. James Landrith -- [James Landrith's response]
    5. tex
    6. Ken Macleod -- [Ken Macleod's response]

      (Yes, I know it's six. Sue me.)

Looking back over this, I can see that I've left out at least a hundred writers and at least 300 books which deserved to be on the list. That's why I hate this kind of thing. And now, if you'll pardon me, I think I'll go curl up with a good book.

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